Eli turns one tomorrow.
Let me take a moment while I let that sink in.
One. As in, he has been in the world for 365 days. How is that even possible? It seems like just yesterday I was waddling around at work in my huge maternity scrubs and a little un-named baby boy kicking me in the ribs with his head resting on my bladder. I can't believe that last year at this time, I still looked like this:
Woof. Man, was I one big swollen mess of a momma. But that big swollen mess had to get.that.baby.out. so I lugged my large self to work on January 23rd and literally rolled around on the floor restraining dogs and ran around in hopes that the baby would sense that I would never slow down until he came. It didn't work.
Then my dear friend/baby guru told me "get some castor oil. there's a baby in every bottle."
So I did.
8 hours later, at 5 am, I was enjoying a delicious fudgesicle when something happened.
I remember letting out a little squeal of excitement and then running (ok, waddling) to the bedroom to wake up Seth to told him my water had broke. It was like Christmas morning with two five year olds. We were both so giddy and excited. Then suddenly, a thought crept into my head.
"What if my water didn't really break? What if I just wet myself? What if we go to the hospital and they tell me its a false alarm and that there is no way I am ever having this baby and I am going to be pregnant forever?"
So, I did what any girl would do. I called my mom. The conversation was one I will never forget. It went a little like this:
Me: "Mom, my water broke. I think."
Mom: "Oh yay! Good!"
Me: "But I'm not sure if it really did, how do I know?"
Mom: "Um...Uh...Here's your dad."
I love her, she's the best!
Thus began the mad scramble, by Seth, and the calm slow dreamy state of euphoria by me. I distinctly remember a moment while I was in the shower that I thought to myself, "I don't feel a thing! I think I'll just have this baby at home! I bet it will be so easy!" Ha! I'll allow all you other mothers out there to laugh at me for thinking that. Thank you Seth for having the logic and reason to practically drag me into the car.
We than began our hour journey to the hospital, which remarkably only took 35 minutes that day! I think with every contraction Seth sped up 10 mph.
I remember so many moments of that day, some good, some bad, some very clear, some quite hazy. Mostly I remember how brave and calm Seth was, how my parents and in-laws came to visit me, how I could hear the "beep-beep" of Eli's little heartbeat.....and how the nurse told me she was going to turn off my epidural because she just knew I would have him by 2:00. :)
Not quite. But its ok, because on January 24th, 5:32 pm....
the most wonderful miracle entered the world!
He was beautiful and perfect and the moment he was born I felt my entire world shift and realign. I felt, for a moment, that I was looking through God's eyes and understood how in a world so cruel and corrupt, there can still be pure, unconditional love.
As much as I cringe when I see this picture (note that my wrists are swelling over my hospital bands), I have to remind myself to not be so selfish and vain and recognize that this is my proudest moment. I am with my husband whom with I created this tiny little squishy faced, cone-headed angel! And I not only grew him...but I pushed him out!
This year has flown by, and as much as I warned myself it would, nothing could prepare me for how fast it would fly. I told myself to take in those little moments. I remember just sitting and rocking him, and trying to catch every little yawn or sigh against my cheek. Of studying his tiny hands and memorizing how perfectly they wrapped around my fingers.
There have been messy moments.
Not so great, crying moments.
family history-in-the-making moments
and completely blessed moments.
Eli has so many great people in his life already at just a year old.
Some that give him slobbery kisses when he is sad.
Some people called "grandma and grandpa" but are so much more than that.
And then some people that though he may not remember them, they will have left an imprint on his heart, and he in theirs. His name and future will be because of them.
Still, I can't believe it. One year?! How can it be? I'll be honest, I have been sort of dreading this day. When Eli turned 6 months I had a small break down. Seth thought I was crazy, and I thought "Just wait till he turns one" I knew more moments were coming, but I wasn't prepared for how they would sneak up on me. When I was storing some of Eli's old clothes I came across the little hat that was put on his head moments after he was born. Instant tears. Then a few days later found the first pacifier he ever used. I find myself smelling the leftover newborn diapers we have that we never used, or trying to swaddle Eli as he squirms and gets up and WALKS away. I am crazy, I know.
Why is it that we don't want our babies to grow up, yet at the same time we do? I was talking about it with one of the doctors I work for and she put it so well saying that its grieving the "loss" of babyhood. The knowing that you will never nurse them again, or celebrate their first time crawling, or the taking of the first steps. I am so excited and joyful that Eli is healthy and growing, but I am definitely going to miss the "baby" stage.
I mean, look at him!
But, my goodness, is there a lot to look forward to!
So here's to you Eli! Happy FIRST Birthday of many many many birthdays! You are the biggest reason of joy in our lives, and I love you forever, always, to the moon and back...